What makes you different?  Before continuing with the article below, take a moment to consider how you might answer that question for your business or service. 

  • What sets you apart?
  • How you articulate it to your potential clients?
  • How do you know that you have been successful in catching their attention?   

Now continue on. 

As the first Differentiation Coach, I hear a lot of answers, and some are better than others. Below, I have listed the 5 most common misconceptions that business owners make when being challenged with the “differentiation question".

See you if you can identify where you are doing well and where you might improve:   

Relying on Product - Your products are not the end game. Your prospect isn’t really all that interested in what your products are. They only care how you’re going to solve their problems. Even with the best, most innovative products, you are still not effectively differentiated. You just have a good idea.

Relying on a Niche Market - The Niche Market concept is a brilliant one, and it definitely has great potential. However, just because you’re working a Niche Market, doesn’t make you different or exceptional. It only means that you have identified a ‘Target Market.’ How are you serving your target market? If you can figure that out, then you’re at the beginning stages of developing a potentially effective Differentiation Strategy.

Tell Them and They Will Come - Nope.  You've got it backwards.  They will come when you start delivering value in a way that your competitors don't.

What You Say and What You Do Aren’t Aligned - If you’re Differentiating on ‘Service,’ for example, you had better be the best ‘service experience’ in town! And you’d better define precisely what that ‘service experience promise’ really looks like before you start promoting it or you’ll be in worse shape than you were before you started. Get your game plan figured out before you start to advertise that you’re in the game. 

Competing with Your Competition - Don’t respond to your competition or let their innovations and ideas drive your initiatives. I strongly believe that there is no competition if you show up your way and deliver your best. That’s a pretty strong statement, and there’s a good chance that you disagree. Here’s my thought: even if you don’t have a unique product, you can have a unique approach and stand by a unique philosophy. Don’t dilute your offer by copying others. Make a strong statement, be creative and bring your passion to your business. Then give it life by standing by it and executing with excellence.

We help quality-driven business owners develop their own successful Differentiation Strategy with a focus on ‘quality execution with personality’. If that resonates with you, then we invite you to stay on board and join us for future tips and ideas in this Business Newsletter. Our September issue will outline the 5 Components of a Successful Differentiation Strategy.